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How to Get Past the 'Holiday Blues'

What's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, is the complete opposite for some. Studies show the holidays can cause depression.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) "Have a holly, jolly Christmas. It's the best time of the year." That's what the song says. 

But, studies show for some, that's not necessarily the case. 

"We create situations that result in more stress for ourselves because we can't say no to people," said Kristina Hannon.

Kristina Hannan, from the Family Guidance Center in St. Joseph, said holiday depression - better known as the 'Christmas blues' - is anything but a myth.

Stress, fatigue and overeating are a few reasons why depression is more common during the holidays.

"We need to try to remind ourselves to keep our healthy habits going to," said Hannon.

Excessive drinking is another cause of depression.

"That [alcohol] really is a depressant. So, that can also decrease mood as well," said Hannon."

Signs of holiday depression include wanting to sleep more, getting angry with people for no reason, becoming frustrated with your daily life, and keeping to yourself.

"We just kind of shut down and pull away from people; the people who we could use as our support people," said Hannon.

If you notice any of these signs, Hannon recommends seeking help.

"Talk therapy or what we call Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very effective for seasonal depression," said Hannon.

Some cases may be too severe for a therapist, and medication may be needed.

"In which case you would want to see your primary care provider," said Hannon.

But, if the holiday blues only slaps you on the wrist, Hannon said the easiest way to cure it is by getting as much sleep as possible, don't over drink, and stick to a set schedule when shopping and planning holiday festivities.

"Don't over-commit yourself. Really learn to be assertive with people and learn to say, no, I can't come to your or I can't do that today," said Hannon.

A recent survey shows two-thirds of women will experience some level of depression during the holidays.   


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